Update: This experiment is over. Google is back crawling my website. Google wins.
One of the great benefits coming from as weird URL as you see for this blog, that I will have extremely hard time to ever sell it. With that there is also one particular advantage- I can experiment more with my website than other bloggers. Even if my experiments are a little drastic or insane.
Having been defamed by Google, along with many other bloggers, gave me an opportunity to reevaluate my relationship with big G. I have decided to see how will this blog survive on its own- without Google. So I have instructed Googlebot to stay way from this blog. But I also have requested to remove my entire website from Google’s index via Google Webmaster Tools (formerly know as Google Sitemaps).
Why so drastic?
Well, as I said it is an experiment. And I would advise not to follow my example if you run a blog that is responsible for good chunk of your earnings. Otherwise you are likely to loose about 30% of existing traffic and potentially that can translate into a loss of considerable amount of your income.
I would not call it an attempt to boycott Google. However, since Google has considered some of the pages to be shown on the first page of its search results, removing my website from these results is a way of returning the kindness after being defamed by their most recent Page Rank update.
Is it all about paid links and nofollow?
Yes and no. Yes I am guilty. My guilt amounts to about $2,000 earned from sponsored reviews and text link ads during the course of last year. Even I if I can’t substantiate a claim that I did not intentionally sell Page Rank, I still believe that a “no-nofollow” link to an advertiser from my blog did not have the same effect on SERPs as a “no-nofollow” link to an advertiser let say on TechChrunch or a “no-nofollow” link to his employer by Matt Cutts.
I still believe that paid reviews and paid links can contribute to better and more relevant results. To claim that links are irrelevant just because they are found in a sponsored review is absurd.
Could there have been a more moderate way out?
In order to make peace with Google, many webmasters were forced into waving white flags in surrender. I believe that similar option was available to me also. However seeing how uneven and unjust penalties were distributed, I have decided to give Google a hand. Even though I received money in exchange for links, my conscious is clean. When my website will be removed from Google’s index, any claim that I am selling Page Rank is absurd.
On the other had this will give me a better understanding whether or not a website can be successful or even survive without being indexed in Google. I will be posting some statistics in the future on it so stay tuned.
Although the readership of this blog is low, the fact that people subscribe to my blog tells me that once in a while I manage to write something relevant and interesting and no search engine will tell me otherwise.
Here is just few predictions about the effects this will have on my blog:
- I will lose about 30% of traffic- not a big deal if I manage to increase the subscribers to this blog.
- I predict a considerable decrease of spam (both human and automated) on my blog. It will be interesting to see to what degree was Google at fault when it came to spam.
- I imagine bloggers may hesitate to link to me since there will be no sign of my website in Google- this will result in a smaller number of links in the future to my blog. Will this turn my blog into a “bad neighborhood”? Frankly in this light the entire idea of “bad neighborhood” is absurd- without Google it does not exist.
- I may loose my place in the “Dofollow Movement” even though I am keeping DoFollow plugin on my blog.
I know that many of you disagree with my approach, I do however want to hear your take on it. How do you think my blog will do?